Kilifi County Govt to establish a fruit farming agricultural park
The Kilifi County government has signed a Sh12.5 billion deal with an Israeli company for the establishment of a fruit farming agricultural park in Bamba, Ganze Sub-county.
The 30-year project will see more than 250,000 hectares of land in Ganze put under avocados, mangoes and citrus fruits.
Turnkey Fruit Farming yesterday said plans are at an advanced stage for the large-scale, technology driven avocado and mango farming.
On Friday, a team from the Israeli firm toured Bamba to get the local people’s views on the project.
The groundbreaking will take place next month, with the first phase being the construction of an avocado processing plant.
The company will build a plant for extracting avocado oil, a logistics centre, including state-of-the art grading and cleaning chambers, a packaging house and cold rooms. It will also put up a modern agricultural village, with low-cost housing for the residents.
Speaking during a sensitisation meeting in Mitangani in Bamba, Turnkey representative Rodgers Tuku said the company is keen on launching the project, which will increase the country’s fruit producing capacity from 5-10 tonnes per hectare to 20-30 tonnes per hectare in three years.
He said the firm had already sourced for markets, which means once the plant becomes operational, the products will be exported.
Meanwhile, Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, who represented Governor Amason Kingi, said the county government will set up major water and access roads critical to the success of the project.
He said that Governor Kingi had identified Bamba as the ideal location for the project because there is land available, and the climate is also suitable for growing fruits like avocados and mangoes.
When we heard about the project, we were ecstatic. We knew that the investors could have gone to any other area in the country, but they choose Kilifi for this project. I believe we have become an ideal region for investments because of the incentives we are offering investors,” Mr Saburi said, adding that it has given them hope.
Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire also welcomed the project, saying that it will change the fortunes of the people of Ganze, which has for a long time been ranked among the country’s poorest constituencies.
However, he urged Governor Kingi’s administration to thoroughly review the proposals on the deal so that the people of Bamba don’t get a raw deal, as happened in the case of Giriama ranch.
The project is expected to create one job per hectare.